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New HIPAA rules pose challenges for healthcare industry

Reuters, March 18, 2013

As the healthcare industry gears up to comply with new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, set to take effect March 26, providers are looking for guidance on how broader patient-privacy rules could affect their businesses, said Nixon Peabody healthcare partner Linn Freedman. The Department of Health & Human Services in January announced an expansion of the 1996 act, which provided privacy and security protections for patients' health information. The new regulations gives patients greater protections by broadening the definition of health-information privacy, making providers responsible for proving that a breach caused no harm and raising the penalties for violators to a maximum of $1.5 million per infraction.